Singapore stocks end the week lower amid rising global uncertainty

SINGAPORE – Local stocks ended the week lower on Friday amid rising uncertainty in world markets and renewed fears of a global economic slowdown.

The Straits Times Index (STI) lost 0.7 per cent or 21 points to end at 3,208.55, and down a hefty 1.8 per cent for the week. Losers outstripped gainers 289 to 232 on trade of 1.7 billion shares worth $1.2 billion.

Key indexes elsewhere in the region were mixed after a similar session on Wall Street overnight that left the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.7 per cent.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong lost 0.6 per cent, Seoul’s Kospi fell 0.6 per cent and the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI slid 0.2 per cent, but the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo was up 0.9 per cent.

The Australian bourse broke a three-week losing streak to eke out a modest gain of 0.1 per cent.

Mr Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management, noted that investors are growing concerned about weak China data, the United States debt ceiling impasse, and the ongoing regional banks’ crisis, while failing to fully embrace softer American inflation data.

Wilmar International was the top performing counter on the STI over the week as it gained 2.8 per cent to close at $3.99 on Friday.

Meanwhile, the STI’s top decliner was Venture Corp, falling 10.2 per cent over the five trading days to close at $15.32.

The tech company reported on May 5 that its net profit for the first quarter was down 12.4 per cent year on year, amid softening demand for technology products.

It also announced on Thursday that it would install dual chief executive officers as part of the company’s restructuring plans.

The trio of local banks ended the week lower. DBS lost 3.9 per cent to $30.66 over the five days, while OCBC Bank fell 3.2 per cent to $12.25 and UOB declined 0.8 per cent to $27.77.

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